Saturday, December 14, 2019

December 15 Radio History

➦In 1922...Albert James "Alan" Freed was born in Johnstown, PA (Died – January 20, 1965). He became internationally known for promoting the mix of blues, country, rhythm and blues music on the radio in the United States and Europe under the name of rock and roll. His career was destroyed by the payola scandal that hit the broadcasting industry in the early 1960s.

Alan Freed
While attending the Ohio State University, Freed became interested in radio. Freed served in the US Army during World War II and worked as a DJ on Armed Forces Radio. Soon after World War II, Freed landed broadcasting jobs at smaller radio stations, including WKST (New Castle, PA); WKBN (Youngstown, OH); and WAKR (Akron, OH), where, in 1945, he became a local favorite for playing hot jazz and pop recordings. Freed enjoyed listening to these new styles because he liked the rhythms and tunes.

Freed is commonly referred to as the "father of rock 'n' roll" due to his promotion of the style of music, and his introduction of the phrase "rock and roll", in reference to the musical genre, on mainstream radio in the early 1950s. He helped bridge the gap of segregation among young teenage Americans, presenting music by black artists (rather than cover versions by white artists) on his radio program, and arranging live concerts attended by racially mixed audiences. Freed appeared in several motion pictures as himself. In the 1956 film Rock, Rock, Rock, Freed tells the audience that "rock and roll is a river of music which has absorbed many streams: rhythm and blues, jazz, ragtime, cowboy songs, country songs, folk songs. All have contributed greatly to the big beat."

In 1945 Alan Freed joined WAKR and became a local favorite, playing hot jazz and pop recordings. The radio editor for the Akron Beacon Journal followed Freed and his "Request Review" nightly program of dance. When he left the station, the non-compete clause in his contract limited his ability to find work elsewhere, and he was forced to take the graveyard shift at Cleveland's WJW radio where he eventually made history playing the music he called "Rock and Roll."

In the late 1940s, while working at WAKR 1590 AM in Akron, Ohio, Freed met Cleveland record store owner Leo Mintz. Record Rendezvous, one of Cleveland's largest record stores, had begun selling rhythm and blues records. Mintz told Freed that he had noticed increased interest in the records at his store, and encouraged him to play them on the radio. Freed moved to Cleveland in 1951, still under a non-compete clause with WAKR. However, in April, through the help of William Shipley, RCA's Northern Ohio distributor, he was released from the non-compete clause. He was then hired by WJW radio for a midnight program sponsored by Main Line, the RCA Distributor, and Record Rendezvous. Freed peppered his speech with hipster language, and, with a rhythm and blues record called "Moondog" as his theme song, broadcast R&B hits into the night.

Mintz proposed buying airtime on Cleveland radio station WJW 850 AM, which would be devoted entirely to R&B recordings, with Freed as host. On July 11, 1951, Freed began playing rhythm and blues records on WJW. While R&B records were played for many years on lower powered, inner city radio stations aimed at African-Americans, this is arguably the first time that authentic R&B was featured regularly on a major, mass audience station. Freed called his show "The Moondog House" and billed himself as "The King of the Moondoggers".

He had been inspired by an offbeat instrumental called "Moondog Symphony" that had been recorded by New York street musician Louis T. Hardin, aka "Moondog". Freed adopted the record as his show's theme music. His on-air manner was energetic, in contrast to many contemporary radio presenters of traditional pop music, who tended to sound more subdued and low-key in manner. He addressed his listeners as if they were all part of a make-believe kingdom of hipsters, united in their love for black music. He also began popularizing the phrase "rock and roll" to describe the music he played.

Later that year, Freed promoted dances and concerts featuring the music he was playing on the radio. He was one of the organizers of a five-act show called "The Moondog Coronation Ball" on March 21, 1952, at the Cleveland Arena.This event is known as the first rock and roll concert. Crowds attended in numbers far beyond the arena's capacity, and the concert was shut down early due to overcrowding and a near-riot. Freed gained a priceless notoriety from the incident. WJW immediately increased the airtime allotted to Freed's program, and his popularity soared.

In those days, Cleveland was considered by the music industry to be a "breakout" city, where national trends first appeared in a regional market. Freed's popularity made the pop music business take notice. Soon, tapes of Freed's program began to air in the New York City area over station WNJR 1430 (now WNSW), in Newark, New Jersey.

In July 1954, following his success on the air in Cleveland, Freed moved to WINS 1010 AM in New York City. Hardin, the original Moondog, later took a court action suit against WINS for damages against Freed for infringement in 1956, arguing prior claim to the name "Moondog", under which he had been composing since 1947. Hardin collected a $6,000 judgment from Freed, as well as an agreement to give up further usage of the name Moondog.  WINS eventually became an around-the-clock Top 40 rock and roll radio station, and would remain so until April 19, 1965—long after Freed left and three months after he had died— when it became an all-news outlet.

In 1956, Freed hosted "Alan Freed's Rock 'n' Roll Dance Party" on CBS Radio from New York. Freed’s life was dramatized in the film “American Hot Wax.”

➦In 1936....What is now known as KFNQ began as KGBS in 1927, changing to KVL in 1928, then KEEN in this date in 1936 and KEVR in 1940.

The station is considered the third oldest radio station in Seattle, the first being KJR, which began broadcasting in 1922, and the second being KOMO, which began in 1926.pioneering Seattle radio station KVL changed its call letters to KEEN.

➦In 1941...We Hold These Truths, a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the United States Bill of Rights, aired as an hour-long radio program that explored American values.   It was the first show to be broadcast on all four major networks (CBS, NBC Red, NBC Blue, and Mutual) simultaneously.

It was written and produced by Norman Corwin, who won a Peabody Award for the show, which commemorated the ratification of Bill of Rights on December 15, 1791.

The attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 — a week before the scheduled broadcast — may have contributed to what the Crossley Rating Service estimated to be 63 million listeners (almost half of the U.S. population), the largest audience in history for a dramatic performance.

The radio program had been commissioned by the United States government under the auspices of the Office of Education, and was scheduled for live broadcast on that date well before the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred. When producer Corwin asked on December 7 whether the show was still on, the response wired to him the next day was, "The President thinks it's more important now than ever to proceed with the program."

➦In 1944...The plane carrying Alton Glenn Miller disappeared.  He was an American big-band trombonist, arranger, composer, and bandleader in the swing era.

He was the best-selling recording artist from 1939 to 1942, leading one of the best-known big bands. Miller's recordings include "In the Mood", "Moonlight Serenade", "Pennsylvania 6-5000", "Chattanooga Choo Choo", "A String of Pearls", "At Last", "(I've Got a Gal In) Kalamazoo", "American Patrol", "Tuxedo Junction", "Elmer's Tune", and "Little Brown Jug". In just four years Glenn Miller scored 16 number-one records and 69 top ten hits—more than Elvis Presley (38 top 10s) and the Beatles (33 top 10s) did in their careers.

While he was traveling to entertain U.S. troops in France during World War II, Miller's aircraft disappeared in bad weather over the English Channel.

➦In 1956…Elvis Presley gave his final performance on the "Louisiana Hayride" a weekly show aired by KWKH in Shreveport, Louisian.  Elvis made 50 appearances.

➦In 1957…Columbia Records executive Mitch Miller and entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. disparaged rock 'n' roll as "the comic books of music" during a radio talk show hosted by Davis. Another guest on the radio show, Arnold Maxim, president of the MGM record label, disagreed with them saying he saw no end to the fad in the near future.

➦In 1966...Walt (Walter Elias) Disney died in Burbank at age 65. Disney had been a heavy smoker since World War I. He did not use cigarettes with filters and had smoked a pipe as a young man. In November 1966, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. On November 30 he felt unwell and was taken to St. Joseph Hospital where, on December 15, ten days after his 65th birthday, he died of circulatory collapse caused by lung cancer.  Disney's remains were cremated two days later, and his ashes interred at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

➦In 1988..."The Godfather of Soul," James Brown, was sentenced to six years in prison for failing to stop for police during a two-state car chase. He was released in 1990 on probation.

John R Gambling
➦In 1990... John R. Gambling took over the Rambling With Gambling show on WOR 710 AM, NYC.  Gambling joined his father as co-host of Rambling with Gambling in 1985, and took over as sole host after John A.'s retirement.

When WOR ended Rambling with Gambling in 2000 after 75 years on the air, John R. Gambling moved up the dial to WABC, taking over the post-morning-drive 10 a.m. - noon slot. Gambling was fired by WABC on February 29, 2008 in a cost-cutting move.  On April 30, 2008, WOR announced the return of John R. Gambling to its air waves in his old morning-drive timeslot starting May 5, 2008.

On December 20, 2013 John R. Gambling did his last morning show on WOR after announcing his retirement from broadcasting. He and his wife of 37 years Wendy retired to Florida ending a run of over 80 years during which the Gamblings were a staple of mornings on New York Radio.

On April 14, 2014 Gambling returned to New York radio on WNYM 970 AM weekdays from 11:00AM to 1:00PM.

Rufus Thomas At WDIA
➦In 2001…Rufus C. Thomas, Jr. died from a heart attack at age 84 (Born - March 26, 1917). He a rhythm-and-blues, funk, soul and blues singer, songwriter, dancer, radio personality and comic entertainer from Memphis.

He recorded for several labels, including Chess Records and Sun Records in the 1950s, before becoming established in the 1960s and 1970s at Stax Records. He is best known for his novelty dance records, including "Walking the Dog" (1963), "Do the Funky Chicken" (1969) and "(Do the) Push and Pull" (1970).

He began his career as a tap dancer, vaudeville performer, and master of ceremonies in the 1930s. He later worked as a disc jockey on radio station WDIA 1070 AM in Memphis, both before and after his recordings became successful. He remained active into the 1990s and as a performer and recording artist was often billed as "The World's Oldest Teenager". He was the father of the singers Carla Thomas (with whom he recorded duets) and Vaneese Thomas and the keyboard player Marvell Thomas.

Retirement Ends Radio Personality Tom Joyner's Career

Radio personality Tom Joyner signed-off Friday after a legendary career. The 70-year-old has been the host of America's No. 1 syndicated urban morning show "The Tom Joyner Morning Show for the past 25-years.  The show ended with clearance in 105 markets nationwide and reached nearly eight million listeners.

"Our thing has always been to empower people. But to empower, we have to first entertain," Joyner told CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan. "If I've got you laughing, I've got you listening."

Entertainment and empowerment have paid off. At his peak, Joyner said he was pulling in $14 million a year.

"But it got to a point where they would – 'All right, we're gonna cut your salary in half.' 'Okay.' 'And then in half.' 'Okay.' And then in half two years ago," Joyner said. "Because my salary was based on my results, and not only was I losing affiliates but radio industry as a whole was losing traction."

"If you had been offered more money, would you have stayed longer?" Duncan asked.

"Heck yeah. Shoot, I – my goal was to die on the radio. Have my funeral on the radio," Joyner said with a laugh.

Joyner was born and raised in Tuskegee, Alabama, one of many cities that helped shape the civil rights movement.

"I was a fat kid and they served great food at civil rights marches," Joyner said. "Oh my god, the chicken was good. So I'm out there protesting the fact our radio station in this all-black town didn't play any black music. And this guy who owned the radio station, which was inside a Ford dealership, came out and said, 'I don't need this. I'm trying to really sell some cars.' Tell you what, it's a sun up, sun down station, every Saturday, I'll let one of you play all the Aretha and The Temptations that you want."

He started at WRMA (an AM station in Montgomery, Alabama) 50-years ago. After breaking onto the airwaves there, he worked his magic at WLOK (an AM station in Memphis, Tennessee), KWK (an AM station in St. Louis, Missouri), and KKDA (an FM station in Dallas, Texas). Eventually, he moved to Chicago – the Windy City. He blew through the Windy City on radio stations WJPC (FM), WGCI (FM), WVON (AM) and WBMX (FM) and caused a whirlwind of excitement on urban radio. Never before had listeners experienced such energy, humor and vitality.

Opportunity came knocking in the mid 1980’s. Tom’s upbeat style and comedic antics put him in an awkward position. His contract was about to expire and it was decision time. He was offered the MORNING drive time position at KKDA (Dallas, Texas) by one company and the AFTERNOON Disc Jockey position at WGCI (Chicago, Illinois). Any normal human would have chosen one position or the other – Tom Joyner chose to do BOTH!

His plan was to fly thousands of miles every day by airplane each day between Dallas and Chicago. He spent so much time in the air that he received the name “The Fly Jock”. This commute and his rich on-air style gained him national publicity and high ratings.

In 1994, Tom Joyner took his show to a new level. He knew that if he wanted to reach a broader audience, more “Fly Jockeying” would not do the trick, so he convinced ABC Radio Networks that his show could work in syndication. ABC, impressed with his determination, credentials and following gave it a try. In 1994, The Tom Joyner Morning Show started with Tom Joyner at the helm. The show is beamed to radio stations across the country each weekday. Over 8 million ears tune into the show from their favorite local radio station.

Tom Joyner has an impressive collection of awards. He was elected into the Radio Hall of Fame. He has received Impact Magazine’s “Joe Loris Award” for Excellence in Broadcasting. He has received Billboard’s “Best Urban Contemporary Air Personality” award. Impact Magazine’s “Best DJ of the Year Award” was renamed “The Tom Joyner Award” because he received it so many times."

Longtime Radio Personality Mike Harvey To Sign-Off

After more than 35 years, legendary radio host and executive Mike Harvey will step away from hosting his nightly classic hits show, The Mike Harvey Show, and the Saturday Weekend Party with Mike Harvey on Westwood One as of December 31, 2019.

With over 500 affiliates and countless friendships along the way, Mike leaves the air hosting the longest continuously running syndicated music show in radio history.

Mike’s accolades include management experience in San Francisco and Pittsburgh, and he is the only three-time Billboard Magazine “Major Market Program Director of The Year” award winner. After leaving day-to-day station management, he revolutionized the broadcast industry with the launch of the Transtar Radio Networks in the early 1980s. Mike launched “Super Gold” across the network in 1983, which segued to his current show.

“This has always been a challenge, but never a job for me,” Harvey said. “It has been a labor of love.”

Harvey is the only three-time winner of Billboard Magazine’s “Major Market Program Director of the Year” Award and his stations have won the Billboard “Station of the Year” an unprecedented four times!

Years of experience “behind the desk” have made him keenly aware of what it takes to develop the “bottom line.” Not content with merely performing and programming, Harvey became a “turnaround” specialist for ailing stations in medium and major markets, and, as General Manager, created top-rated performers in a variety of formats like 3WS – Pittsburgh, KSOL – San Francisco, WHAM – Rochester, and WFTL – Ft. Lauderdale.

In the 80’s, he joined legendary research specialist Bill Moyes in creating the Transtar Radio Networks … the FIRST satellite-delivered programming service in the world!  As Vice President of Programming and Operations, Mike designed, built and managed the network’s formats which still operate today under the banner of the Dial-Global Radio Networks. While running Transtar in Los Angeles, Mike launched “SuperGold Saturday Night”, which quickly became America’s favorite syndicated weekend show. Over the past 20+ years, Mike has evolved the presentation and music format and extended the winning concept to 6 nights a week as “The Mike Harvey Shows.”

As Mike Harvey steps away from the microphone day to day, Mike announces a new consulting and partnership role “Throwback Nation Radio,” effective January 1, 2020.

Throwback Nation Radio, hosted by Tony Lorino on Monday-Saturday and Danny Hustle on Sunday, launched in October 2018 and is the fastest-growing syndicated classic hits show today. Focused on high-energy listener interaction with high-quality hits of the 80s and 90s, Throwback Nation Radio will welcome the vast majority of Mike’s current affiliates with open arms to kick off the new year. The program is syndicated by Sun Broadcast Group (SBG).

Taylor Swift Rips Private Equity Music Investments

Taylor Swift, George Soros
Billionaire investors like George Soros are getting dragged into the vicious battle between pop star Taylor Swift and manager-to-the-stars Scooter Braun, reports The NY Post.

 Braun recently bought the rights to her old music.

In a speech Thursday night at the Billboard Women in Music, Swift called out Braun’s financial backers by name, including “the Soros family, 23 Capital and the Carlyle Group.”

She described them as members of “the unregulated world of private equity” that is proving a “potentially harmful force” on the music industry.”

“[They’re] buying up our music as if it is real estate,” she complained. “As if it’s an app or a shoe line.”

None of the investors named by the pop singer would comment, although one source said he was stunned that the normally staid world of private equity was even mentioned at a rock ‘n’ roll event.

Swift, who delivered her digs from the stage of Los Angeles’ Hollywood Palladium, where she accepted Billboard’s inaugural “Woman of the Decade” award, has been feuding with Braun since June when he purchased her former label, Big Machine Label Group, for a reported $300 million.

Swift claims to have lost her “music outright” when Big Machine — her former record label, which owned the masters to her first six albums – sold itself to Braun.

The 30-year-old singer has called Braun acquiring the catalog — ranging from her 2006 self-titled debut album through 2017’s “Reputation” — a “worst case scenario” and accused him of indirectly bullying her on social media.

D/FW Radio: Dawn Girocco New DOS for KSCS, KPLX, KILF-FM

Dawn Girocco
CUMULUS MEDIA announces that media executive Dawn Girocco will rejoin the company as Director of Sales for New Country KSCS 96.3 FM, Country KPLX 99.5 The Wolf FM and Rhythmic Top40 KLIF 93.3 HotFM in Dallas.

Girocco was most recently Vice President/Market Manager for Cumulus Los Angeles. Prior to that, she was General Sales Manager for iHeartMedia’s KIIS-FM in Los Angeles. An accomplished L.A. radio professional for more than 20 years, Girocco was honored by Radio Ink magazine as one of the Most Influential Women in Radio.

Dan Bennett, Regional Vice President, Cumulus Dallas/Houston said: “Being able to get someone of Dawn Girocco’s experience and success back in our company to join our Dallas team as a key sales management leader is a great plus for Dallas and our company. Dawn’s past success in Los Angeles speaks for itself and we can’t wait for her to get started here in Texas.”

Girocco said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be rejoining Cumulus and a company culture that is built on focus, collaboration and empowerment. Huge thank you to Dan Bennett, Dave Milner and Mary Berner for the opportunity to be on the Dallas team and back in Texas with these incredible properties.”

Billboard Album Chart To Factor In YouTube Data

The Billboard 200 album chart will soon be including a streaming component compiled from video and audio data from YouTube.

The chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on traditional album sales, track sales equivalent albums and streaming equivalent albums, and officially licensed video content will now be factored into the chart alongside audio streams. The video addition will also impact Billboard’s genre album charts for Country, R&B/Hip-Hop, Latin, and others, and the change will take effect with the Jan. 18 charts, which reflects sales and streams from January 3-9, 2020.

YouTube streams have been a component of the Billboard Hot 100 and other song charts since February 2013, but this is the first time they will factor into the album charts. Unlike the song charts, however, only official licensed video content uploaded by or on behalf of a rights holder will be counted. User-generated videos will not be included in the album calculations.

“As the steward of the definitive charts that uphold the industry’s measurement of music consumption, our goal is to continually respond and accurately reflect the changing landscape of the music,” said Billboard-The Hollywood Reporter Media Group President Deanna Brown. “Our decision to add YouTube and other video streaming data to our album charts reflects the continuing evolution of the music consumption market and the ways in which consumers connect to album-related content.”

“YouTube’s inclusion in the Billboard 200 is a very important moment in making the chart a more accurate representation of what people are listening to,” said Lyor Cohen, Global Head of Music at YouTube. “Genres like Latin, hip hop and electronic, which consistently dominate the YouTube charts, will now be properly recognized for their popularity. This is another great step in bringing YouTube and the industry together and we’re so grateful to Billboard and the music business at large for making this addition.”

Houston Chronicle Shuns Bloomberg News Political Stories

The Houston Chronicle's executive editor has announced that the newspaper will stop using Bloomberg News wire stories pertaining to the 2020 presidential campaign in light of the news service's decision to not investigate its owner or his Democratic presidential contenders.

According to The Hill, Steve Riley said in an op-ed published on the Chronicle's website that Bloomberg News's "inexplicable decision" to "not cover its boss seriously" caused him to set the policy in the Chronicle's newsroom. The longtime journalist argued that it would mean "no serious journalism" about the 2020 campaign would derive from the organization.

The Washington Post first reported Tuesday that Riley sent a memo to editors directing them to use other sources when selecting wire stories for the newspaper.

Steve Riley
Riley elaborated on his decision on Thursday, writing that Bloomberg News's late November announcement about its new 2020 campaign reporting protocols made his "stomach rumble."

"Why would we use Bloomberg’s work involving presidential politics?" he asked, saying that he expected his directive to editors would be the end of it. Riley has also advised editors to carefully vet Bloomberg News's energy stories if they are related to the Trump administration.

Riley, who previously led an investigative unit at the newspaper, added that he felt compelled to expand on his move in light of the Post's reporting. He also opened up about the Chronicle's own work to address reader concerns about perceptions of bias.

Riley argued that it would be difficult to pin "an ideological tag" on the Chronicle's investigations in recent years. But he also recognized that bias can seep into reporters' work on issues including the city, region and state. And he noted that some readers have judged the newspaper "harshly" for simply selecting a story from The New York Times or Washington Post for its print product.

Butt Slapper Charged With Sexual Battery

A runner accused of slapping and grabbing the backside of a female reporter during a race in Georgia last weekend was arrested Friday on a misdemeanor charge of sexual battery.

NBC News reports 43-year-old Thomas Callaway was arrested after turning himself in to the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, Savannah PD confirmed to NBC News Saturday. He was released on $1,300 bail.

The Dec. 7 incident, which went viral on social media, happened while WSAV reporter Alex Bozarjian was in the middle of a live-broadcast as runners taking part in the Enmarket Savannah Bridge Run streamed past.

The charge comes days after Bozarjian filed a sexual battery report with the Savannah Police Department, saying that she wanted them to pursue charges against the man who groped and slapped her.

She told police that he slapped and grabbed her buttocks in one motion as he ran past on the Talmadge Bridge, according to the complaint.

Bozarjian tweeted her outrage about the incident later that day, writing “No woman should EVER have to put up with this at work or anywhere!!”

That statement as of early Saturday had been retweeted more than 200,000 times and had more than 735,000 "likes."

Callaway has been banned from all future races by the Savannah Sports Council, which sponsored the run.

Callaway has told WSAV that he is sorry.

NBC Digital Employees Unionize

Employees of NBC’s digital news division announced Friday that they have officially unionized, reports The Hill.

The employees announced they will form a union through the NewsGuild of New York after winning an election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) by a 90-40 vote.

The employees first announced their intention to unionize in October over concerns about how NBC News had handled issues of sexual misconduct and diversity.

The move came after the company was thrust into the spotlight over a report that at least seven women who had alleged sexual harassment or discrimination at work had signed nondisclosure agreements with NBC News. The company later announced that all former employees would be released from that arrangement.

Boston Radio: Skippy White's Record Store Closing

Fans of R & B, jazz and gospel music are singing the blues. The legendary Skippy White’s in Boston is closing, according to WBZ-TV4. . After nearly 60 years selling records, cassettes and CDs, Skippy is calling it quits. he fabled music store owner says, it’s just a sign of the times.

We started business in 1961 selling Black music,” Skippy said. The crowded music store has moved around Boston over the years. For the last 15 its home has been on Columbus Ave. in Egleston Sq.

“We were selling rhythm and blues and soul music. And we added blues, gospel, oldies, reggae,” Skippy said.

Fred LeBlanc
Even at 83, Skippy White, whose given name is Fred Leblanc, is still the go to guy for hard to find tunes. “I’m here to pick up some CDs for my mother. She likes the OJay’s Christmas songs,” said longtime customer Daughut Payton. “I couldn’t find it anywhere else. I came straight to Skippy White’s and he got it for me.”

His music career started at WILD radio, something he then combined with a record store. He was playing the songs, and the customers were buying them. “There you go. That’s right,” White said.

It was on radio that he changed his name to Skippy White. “All my friends told me, you need a nickname,” he explained. The name “White” came from his French last name, Leblanc. Somebody else suggested Skippy. “I don’t even remember who now. But somebody came up with Skippy and I didn’t like it,” he said. But it stuck.

After 59 years in business, the changes in the way people buy and listen to music means it’s time to take the needle off the turntable. “I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I like talking to people, getting to know them, getting to know what they like in music. And I’ll miss it. That’s for sure,” White said.

Skippy will keep the shop open until the beginning of the new year while having a going out of business sale. Then he plans to write a book about his life in music. He’ll also continue doing two radio shows every week.

December 14 Radio History

➦In 1877...Ernst Werner von Siemens received a patent for improving the performance of Thomas A Edison's loudspeaker.  He was a German electrical engineer, inventor and industrialist. Siemens's name has been adopted as the SI unit of electrical conductance, the siemens. He was also founded of the electrical and telecommunications company Siemens.

➦In 1908...Actor/comedian Morey Amsterdam was born in Chicago.  While he was featured on NBC Radio’s weekend Monitor programming in the 50’s & 60’s, and had his own show in the earliest days of the TV era, he will always be best remembered as Buddy Sorrell on The Dick Van Dyke Show.  He died after a heart attack Oct 27, 1996 at age 87.

Dave Herman
➦In 1942...Onetime New York City personality, Dave Herman, was born. Most notably heard on WNEW-FM and WXRK-FM.

Herman began his career at WHTG in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and then moved on to become WMMR's first rock DJ. His show, dubbed The Marconi Experiment, debuted on April 29, 1968. The first song played on the show was "Flying" by The Beatles. He then moved to WABC-FM, which would later become WPLJ.

Most notably, he later became the morning drive host on WNEW FM, where he was the morning host from 1972 to 1982, 1986 to 1991 and then again from 1996 until the station dissolved in 1998. He was one of the station’s best-known voices.  He was included on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's list of notable disc jockeys.

In 2013, Herman was arrested at the airport in Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, after going there from his vacation home in the area. The criminal complaint stated he expected to meet a woman and her six-year-old daughter, who he allegedly believed was being brought for a sexual encounter with him. He was charged with transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.

Herman died of an aneurysm on May 28, 2014, in Essex County Jail in Newark, NJ, while awaiting trial. He was 78.

➦In 1953...WWRL 105.1 FM in NYC signed on. Station is now iHeartMedia's WWPR.

The station was co-owned with WWRL 1600 AM by radio enthusiast William Reuman.  The call sign was changed to WRFM in October 1957, breaking away from the AM simulcast with a diversified and classical music format.

According to Wikiwand, Bonneville International, the broadcast arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, purchased WRFM in 1967. The following year, WRFM, billing itself as "Stereo 105," adopted a beautiful music format.  Ratings for the station were good, and for a couple of times, WRFM was the top-rated FM station in New York.  The station's ratings continued to be strong, but by 1985, the easy listening audience was starting to age and was not as attractive to advertisers. On April 17, 1986, the station switched to a gold-based adult contemporary format with the call letters WNSR, for New York's Soft Rock.  WNSR focused on songs from the 1960s and 1970s, with some 1980s titles and a moderate amount of current adult contemporary songs as well. Initially, the station's ratings were modest. However, once AC competitor 103.5 WYNY went to a country music format, WNSR's ratings went up.

By 1990, the station became known as "Mix 105", and shifted to more of a hot adult contemporary format, focusing on 1970s, 1980s and current hits, with only a few 1960s titles. By April 1992, when the station changed its call letters to WMXV, the 1960s hits were gone, and more recent music was added.  On November 13, 1996, the Hot AC format at WMXV abruptly ended, the station switched formats to an adult-friendly Modern AC format as WDBZ ("The Buzz").

On August 5, 1997, with ratings on the decline, the call sign changed back to WNSR. The original plan was for the station to drop the "Buzz" format in favor of an oldies-based AC format, playing songs from 1964 to current hits. Bonneville sold the station to Chancellor Media, which also owned WHTZ, WLTW, WKTU, and WAXQ.

Gradually, from September through November 1997, the station returned to HotAC, and then Mainstream AC. For the next few months, the station would simply be known on-air as "FM 105.1", and only used the WNSR call sign for the legal IDs.

On January 21, 1998, at 6:30 p.m., the station relaunched as "Big 105," with the call letters WBIX.
Initially, Big 105 was musically very close to WLTW, but evolved to a HotAC format by that May, similar to what WPLJ was playing at the time. WBIX also added Danny Bonaduce of The Partridge Family TV show fame as its morning show host.

On December 10, 1998, at 6 p.m., the station flipped to then-growing "Jammin' Oldies" format, and branded as "Jammin' 105." On March 1, 1999, WBIX changed call letters to WTJM, in order to match the "Jammin'" branding. The station played rhythmic and dance pop hits of the mid-1960s through the 1980s. TV comedian Jay Thomas was hired for morning drive time. WTJM did better in the ratings than the previous format, and its results initially challenged those of longtime oldies station WCBS-FM.

Chancellor merged with Capstar Broadcasting to form AMFM Inc. in 1999. Then, in 2000, Clear Channel Communications merged with AMFM Inc., giving WTJM and the other four stations a new owner. Under Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia), WTJM evolved into an urban oldies direction, and then to an urban adult contemporary format, while keeping the "Jammin' 105" moniker.

At 6:05 a.m. on March 14, 2002, the station abruptly changed, as it flipped to its current mainstream urban format as WWPR-FM "Power 105.1." A speculated reason for the format change is that while they could not beat competitor WQHT Hot 97, they could take enough ratings away from them to keep them from being number one, which would leave WWPR's sister station WLTW as the number one station in the market, after battling WQHT for top honors.

➦In 1959…Billboard magazine reported the record industry’s practice of payoffs to disc jockeys and radio station music directors was all but dead, after it was exposed in the government’s “payola” investigation.

➦In 1977..."Saturday Night Fever," premiered in New York City. It was a huge commercial success. The film significantly helped to popularize disco music around the world and made John Travolta, already well known from his role on TV's Welcome Back, Kotter, a household name.

The Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, featuring disco songs by the Bee Gees, is one of the best-selling soundtracks of all time. The film showcased aspects of the music, the dancing, and the subculture surrounding the disco era: symphony-orchestrated melodies; haute couture styles of clothing; pre-AIDS sexual promiscuity; and graceful choreography.

➦In 1984...After 14 years in the booth, controversial sportscaster Howard Cosell retired from ABC-TV’s Monday Night Football.

Howard Cosell
Cosell was widely known for his blustery, cocksure personality. Cosell said of himself, "Arrogant, pompous, obnoxious, vain, cruel, verbose, a showoff. There's no question that I'm all of those things." In its obituary for Cosell, The New York Times described Cosell's impact on American sports coverage: "He entered sports broadcasting in the mid-1950s, when the predominant style was unabashed adulation, [and] offered a brassy counterpoint that was first ridiculed, then copied until it became the dominant note of sports broadcasting."

On radio, Cosell did his show, Speaking of Sports on 77 WABC, as well as sports reports and updates for affiliated radio stations around the country; he continued his radio duties even after he became prominent on television. Cosell then became a sports anchor at WABC-TV in New York, where he served in that role from 1961 to 1974. He expanded his commentary beyond sports to a radio show entitled "Speaking of Everything".

Cosell, Ali
Cosell rose to prominence covering boxer Muhammad Ali, starting when he still fought under his birth name, Cassius Clay. The two seemed to be friends despite their very different personalities, and complemented each other in broadcasts. Cosell was one of the first sportscasters to refer to the boxer as Muhammad Ali after he changed his name and supported him when he refused to be inducted into the military.

He was diagnosed with cancer in 1991 and had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in his chest. He also had several minor strokes, and was diagnosed with heart and kidney disease and Parkinson's. Cosell died in a New York City hospital on April 23, 1995, aged 77, of a cardiac embolism.

John Guedel
➦In 2001…Radio and television producer John Guedel died at age 88.

He first brought Ozzie & Harriet to weekly radio comedy, and produced ‘You Bet Your Life’ for Groucho Marx and ‘People Are Funny’ for Art Linkletter. In 1956 TV Guide reported that he was producing as many as 25 half-hour radio and television shows a week.

His broadcasting achievements are said to include radio's first singing commercial in 1937, or at least the first one that went beyond a jingle like Jack Benny's famous ''J-E-L-L-O.'' He was also the first to present colorful characters as quiz show contestants, and the first who regularly involved the studio audience in game shows.

He then did a variety of radio work, including writing weekly dramas for a show sponsored by Forest Lawn Memorial Park, a cemetery.

Groucho Marx
In 1942 the show became ''People Are Funny,'' and Linkletter became master of ceremonies. It ran for 19 years on NBC, moving from radio to television in 1954.

In 1945 Mr. Guedel helped transform an afternoon variety show Mr. Linkletter had been doing in San Francisco into ''House Party,'' which ran for 25 years on CBS, moving to television in 1952.

On April 27, 1947, Guedel was producing a show sponsored by the Walgreen drugstore chain. Bob Hope and Groucho Marx were supposed to read a script, but Marx started ad-libbing, and Hope threw his script on the floor and joined in.

Guedel later asked Marx if he could be so spontaneously witty all the time. Marx responded that it would be almost impossible not to be. This resulted in ''You Bet Your Life,'' in which quiz questions were secondary to Marx's verbal jousting.

➦In 2005...Walter A. Schwartz - former GM at Musicradio 77 WABC died.

Walter A. Schwartz
He served as a Lieutenant in the Army Air Corps during World War II and again with the Air Force during the Korean War. Schwartz began his career in radio with WWJ in Detroit and then moved to New York where he became General Manager of WABC. In 1967, Wally was named President of the ABC Radio Network. During his administration, ABC adopted its unique four network programming plan which transformed the organization into the nation's largest and most profitable network.

In 1972 he was named President of ABC Television where he oversaw the ABC Television Network, ABC Sports and ABC Entertainment.  In 1975, he joined the John Blair Company as president of it's television stations and then became President and CEO of Blair Television from which he retired in 1986.

➦In 2006…Ahmet Ertegun died at age, he was co-founder of Atlantic Records. Ertegun helped shape the careers of John Coltrane, Ray Charles, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and many others.

➦In 2017...the FCC rolled back the far-reaching net neutrality rules of the Obama administration, rules governing how internet-service providers treat traffic on their networks, a move that was likely to empower cable and wireless providers and transform consumers’ online experience.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Liberty Media Wants Bigger Slice Of iHM Pie

An affiliate of John Malone’s Liberty Media seeking Justice Department permission to buy a larger piece of iHeartMedia Inc., according to The Wall Street Journal citing people familiar with the matter, a deal that would put the nation’s largest radio broadcaster under the same corporate umbrella as the leading concert promoter and satellite-radio giant SiriusXM.

The report sent shares of IHeart up as much as 10% to $16.01 in late trading on Thursday. Before the rally, the stock had been down 19% this year.

Liberty owns a 4.8% stake in iHeart through Liberty SiriusXM Group; the deal now under consideration could give it control or outright ownership of the broadcaster, according to people familiar with the matter.

The government is considering the request, the people said, with one of them cautioning that Liberty hasn’t decided what kind of transaction, if any, it would proceed with should it receive permission.

Liberty acquired its iHeart stake via debt it took on before the company restructured, which converted to equity when the broadcaster emerged from bankruptcy early this year.

Liberty owns 33% of Live Nation Entertainment Inc., making it the concert giant’s largest shareholder, and 71% of satellite-radio company Sirius XM Holdings Inc.

A deal for iHeart would increase its ability to collaborate among those businesses, potentially creating a bulwark against the rising influence of music-streaming companies.

Last year, Liberty orchestrated Sirius’s purchase of internet-radio company Pandora Media Inc.—in which it also held a controlling stake—for $3 billion, another move intended to compete more effectively against Spotify Technology SA and other on-demand music-streaming services.

currently included in Liberty Media's portfolio

Liberty Chief Executive Greg Maffei at an investor day in late November touted the company’s increased focus on audio and particularly its exposure to the “exploding” podcast market including through iHeart, the No. 2 publisher by audience, according to Podtrac, a podcast-analytics company.

If Liberty were to gain control of iHeart, it would represent a major consolidation of the avenues by which music and other audio content is distributed, promoted and monetized.

No comment from iHeartMedia.

Steve Burke To Exit NBCUniversal In 2020

NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke is planning to step down next year, accelerating an internal race to succeed him, according to The LA Times citing two people familiar with the matter who were not authorized to comment.

Burke, 61, has managed NBCUniversal since Philadelphia cable giant Comcast Corp. purchased it in January 2011, shaping the once-tattered media company into a juggernaut. He has privately expressed an interest in leaving the company when his deal expires in August, according to the knowledgeable people.

Steve Burke
His departure would come at a pivotal time for the company. NBCUniversal has two signature events coming next year: the launch of Peacock, a planned streaming service, and the broadcast of the 2020 Summer Olympics. The games in Tokyo are expected to be highly profitable for NBCUniversal; already the company has received more than $1 billion in advertising commitments.

The leading candidate to replace Burke is Jeff Shell, 54, who has run the Los Angeles-based film studio Universal Pictures since 2013.

Shell is a veteran television executive who has long been one of Burke’s most trusted lieutenants. The L.A. native became chairman of the film studio in 2013, and at the time was considered an unlikely pick because he had no experience in the movie business. Shell managed NBCUniversal’s international operations from 2011 to 2013, but happily returned to his home in L.A. because Comcast wanted a corporate insider who was a Hollywood outsider to lead its West Coast charge.

Jeff Shell
The son of the legendary co-leader of Capital Cities/ABC, Burke also got his start at Disney and launched the Disney Stores retail unit before taking charge of the Burbank company’s ABC television unit. But he decamped for Comcast in 1998 and has been a key ally of Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts for 21 years.

Leaving in 2020 would mark a logical inflection point as the entire industry is in transition. NBCUniversal is well along in the construction of a sprawling theme park in China — Universal Studios Beijing — and its opening is slated for early 2021. It will be the fifth branded Universal Studios park.

But the next CEO of NBCUniversal will face existential challenges as the cable TV channel business, which has been key to NBCUniversal’s profits, shrinks with more consumers cutting the pay-TV cord. Broadcast television, including NBC, has witnessed a sharp drop in primetime ratings. And the movie business faces uncertainty as consumers spend more time watching streaming services in the home.

Taylor Swift Calls Out Scooter Braun

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift, who turns 30 today, accepted the first-ever Woman of the Decade Award at Billboard's annual Women In Music Event in Los Angeles on Thursday.

Swift – who earned five No. 1 albums along with countless accolades in the decade – acknowledged the evolution of being a woman in the music industry, the good and the bad.

"Lately, there has been a new shift that has affected me personally and that I feel is a potentially harmful force in our industry. And as your resident loud person, I feel the need to bring it up," Swift said.

The singer directly addressed her public spat with music executive Scooter Braun, who owns the masters to her first six albums after buying Big Machine Label Group.

"The unregulated world of private equity coming in and buying up our music as if it's real estate. … This just happened to me without my approval, consultation or consent," Swift said. "After I was denied the chance to purchase my music outright, my entire catalog was sold to Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings."

Swift said Braun didn't contact her to discuss the sale before it happened. She feels "fairly certain he knew exactly how I would feel about it."

"To this day, none of these investors have bothered to contact me … on their investment in me, to ask how I might feel about the new owner of my art," Swift added. "The music I wrote, the videos I created, the photos of me, my handwriting, my album designs."

As for the people defending Braun? Swift said: "The definition of the toxic male privilege in our industry is people saying, 'But he’s always been nice to me,' when I’m raising valid concerns about artists and their rights to own their music."

She continued: "Of course (Braun's) nice to you. If you are in this room, you have something he needs."

Through the difficult time and ensuing legal battle, Swift said she was uplifted by "the women in our industry who would have my back and show me the most vocal support."

Portland OR Radio: Danny Dwyer Inks Multi-Year Deal At KUPL

Alpha Media/Portland, OR, has announced Danny Dwyer as Assistant Program Director for Country KUPL 98.7 The Bull while signing him to a multi-year contract.

Danny Dwyer
He'll continue his daily midday hosting duties from 10am-3pm along with his Music Director duties. Dwyer is KUPL's longest term employee after hitting his 21-year mark with the station earlier this year. During his tenure, he's worked in every daypart and held many posts from Promotions Director and traffic reporter to midday host and Music Director.

Senior VP/Market Manager Lisa Decker commented, "The energy and dedication Danny brings on and off the air to our Bull Nation listeners, musicans, artists, labels, advertisers and community partners are an incredible asset to our station. His leadership with station events and promotions including our St. Jude Radiothon and Countryfest concert are irreplaceable."

Content Director and Country Format Captain MoJoe Roberts added, "To say I'm proud of his contributions to the team is an understatement. I'm thrilled to add APD duties to Danny's responsibilities. He has been an integral part in the success of The Bull. Danny's energy and passion for our listeners, our clients and country music is contagious. I look forward to Danny's continued growth in his expanded programming role with 98.7 The Bull."

"I'm very excited to grow into this role and grateful to Lisa Decker, Phil Becker, Gene Sandbloom and MoJoe Roberts for believing in me and for this opportunity to continue to grow. We have a great team at Alpha Media Portland, and I look forward to fighting in the trenches side-by-side with them day in and day out," stated Dwyer.

The 26th Annual A&O&B Pre-CRS Seminar Announced

Country Radio Specialists Mike O’Malley and Becky Brenner have announced that their 26th annual Pre-CRS seminar; Wednesday, February 19, 2020 from 8:30-11:30 am at the Omni Hotel in Downtown Nashville.

The A&O&B team will present the first highlights from their 15th annual online perceptual study, “Roadmap 2020”.  This is the largest study of Country P1's in the U.S. and Canada.  Attendees will discover trends in music tastes, radio usage, digital consumption, social networking and more. 

In 2019, 91% of Country P1's said they listened to country radio "the same or more" in the past 12 months.  Has radio retained that loyalty into 2020?  Facebook was the most used social media platform with 73% using it every day, but this was down from 2018.  Will Facebook see additional erosion in usage. Instagram was second, with 32% using it every day, and Snapchat was flat at 22%.  2019 was the first year that no new Social Media platform was mentioned by listeners.  Will that change in 2020? 

Danielle Bradbury
Attendees will also have the opportunity to see presentations on personal career growth, owning your market and additional tips to help grow ratings and revenue in 2020.

BMLG Record’s Danielle Bradbery is this year’s featured artist.  Bradbery first reached fans on NBC’s The Voice in 2013, winning at age 16!   The Texas native has achieved multiple ACM nominations as well as CMT Breakthrough Video of the Year and CMT Performance of the Year in 2018.

Bradbery will be celebrating the release of her brand new music on BMLG Records in early 2020.  A&O&B Guests will enjoy an acoustic performance; plus, a meet and greet opportunity with this amazingly talented young woman.

Additional speakers will be announced soon.

Partner Mike O'Malley points out, “Inspiration and innovation come from events like this, the country radio seminar, and anywhere information is shared; and "what if" is celebrated. Providing an annual opportunity for this knowledge/idea sharing is important to us because, while this is a country-centric event, the takeaways go beyond a single format. In the end, it's about great radio and ways to make long lasting connections with listeners."

Brenner adds, “We are thrilled to be back at the Omni in partnership with our friends at Country Radio Seminar.  This fast paced 3.5 hours are some of the most talked about at CRS. It is an opportunity to share, learn, grow and re-energize for the new year!"

The A&O&B Pre-CRS Seminar is free to all A&O&B clients, as well as any broadcasters in non-competitive situations. You can RSVP to Mike O'Malley - or Becky Brenner

Philly Radio: KYW Reporter Barred From Presser

The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office did not allow KYW Newsradio's Crime and Justice reporter, Kristen Johanson, to enter a news conference open to other media outlets Wednesday afternoon.

According to KYW, the press conference provided new information in the case of 18-year-old Faayadh Gillard, who was accused of shooting his twin earlier in the month and had charges against him dropped earlier Wednesday morning.

District Attorney Larry Krasner was asked about the barring of Johanson during the news conference by FOX 29's Jeff Cole.

"Did you bar Kristen Johanson from KYW radio from coming to this press conference and why?" Cole asked.

"What I can tell you is I did not bar anybody from coming to a conference. We always enjoy having Kristen Johanson here and if there's been some kind of miscommunication, then I'm sorry to hear that that has occurred," Krasner responded.

Following this incident, a spokesperson for the Philadelphia DA's Office, Jane Roh, said only reporters who requested comment on the case were notified of the press conference. “We brought them in at the same time for efficiency,” she told KYW Newsradio in an email.

Julie Shaw, a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, told KYW Newsradio she did request comment about the story, but also was not invited to the press conference.

When Johanson arrived at the District Attorney's Office, she showed her press pass to security and wrote her name down on the media list. She was then told she was not allowed to go up to the news conference.

Roh cited "security protocols" as part of the reason Johanson was denied access.

Pew: Republicans More Hostile Toward Press

It’s been true for some time that Republicans are generally more hostile to the news media than Democrats, but a study released Thursday found that’s much more the case for supporters of President Donald Trump, according to The Associated Press.

The Pew Research Center study looks at viewpoints on the ethical standards of journalists and whether they act in the best interests of the public.

The study found that 17% of Republicans who somewhat approve of Trump’s performance said they believe journalists have very low ethical standards, and 12% of “never-Trump” Republicans felt that way. However, 40% of Republicans who strongly approve of Trump agree that reporters have very low ethical standards. Another 45% answered low, leaving out the “very,” the Pew study said.

Meanwhile, 4% of Democrats who cast themselves as strong opponents to the president said journalists have “very low” standards.

Trump has crusaded against what he calls the “fake news” media throughout his presidency and regularly attacks organizations like CNN and The New York Times.

“The president’s attacks have done some damage,” Fox News anchor Chris Wallace said Wednesday at an event at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. He cited a Freedom Forum Institute poll this year where more than three-quarters of Americans said “fake news” is a serious threat to democracy.

“I believe President Trump is engaged in the most direct, sustained assault on freedom of the press in our history,” Wallace said.

The study didn’t address the chicken-or-egg question of whether Trump supporters express these anti-press opinions because the president makes it a constant refrain or because they’re already predisposed to believe them.

The poll also didn’t cross-reference attitudes with media consumption habits, but it did find the partisan divide widened among people who say they have a high degree of political awareness. Pew found that 76% of people who say they are Democrats or lean in that direction have a great deal of confidence in the press, compared to 30% of Republicans. Among the highly aware, 91% of the Democrats surveyed have great confidence in the press, while only 16% of Republicans do.

FL Radio: JVC Broadcasting Adds The Cats Roundtable

John Catsimatidis
JVC Broadcasting announces the addition of The Cats Roundtable with John Catsimatidis to Florida Man Radio in Orlando on 105.5 and 660 AM and in Gainesville on 104.9 FM.  Building on the rapid success and overwhelming positive response from listeners and clients, Florida Man Radio will begin broadcasting the new show on Sunday December 8th.   Florida Man Radio debuted in September anchored by long-time Orlando talk legend Shannon Burke, the nationally syndicated Bubba the Love Sponge Clem, radio veterans Scott Ledger and Ed Tyll, American journalist, author, and former television host Bill O’Reilly, and Attorney Justin Clark.

The Cats Roundtable is hosted by John Catsimatidis, the President & CEO of the Red Apple Group, headquartered in New York City.  The Red Apple Group is a privately held company valued between $5- 6 billion with holdings in energy, refining, real estate, and Manhattan supermarkets.

Following a close but unsuccessful run for Mayor of New York City in 2013, Catsimatidis chose to remain in the public eye and started a radio program in January of 2014. The popularity of his Sunday morning program quickly grew while being added to more stations around the country. The program has hosted top guests in Government, Religion, Finance, and Health & Science from around the world including Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

“The Cats Roundtable radio show is perfect for Florida Man Radio.  John’s unique take on the news and his ‘A-list’ celebrity interviews are fascinating conversations that keep listeners coming back for more.  We have been very successful with his show on our Long Island News/Talk radio station and know this is a great fit for our growing Florida Man Radio Network,” said John Caracciolo, President and CEO of JVC Broadcasting.